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a contact laxative used before procedures involving the colon; administered orally or by rectal suppository, either as the base or as a complex with tannic acid (bisacodyl tannex).


Alophen, Apo-bisacodyl (CA), Biolax (UK), Bisac-Evac, Biscolax, Carter's Little Pills (CA), Correctol, Dacodyl, Doxidan, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax Ultra, Femilax, Fleet Bisacodyl, Fleet Stimulant Laxative, Gentlax (CA), Laxoberal (UK), Veracolate

Pharmacologic class: Stimulant laxative

Therapeutic class: Laxative

Pregnancy risk category B


Unclear. Thought to stimulate colonic mucosa, producing parasympathetic reflexes that enhance peristalsis and increase water and electrolyte secretion, thereby causing evacuation of colon.


Enema: 0.33 mg/ml, 10 mg/ml

Powder for rectal solution: 1.5 mg bisacodyl and 2.5 g tannic acid

Suppositories (rectal): 5 mg, 10 mg

Tablets (enteric-coated): 5 mg

Indications and dosages

Constipation; bowel cleansing for childbirth, surgery, and endoscopic examination

Adults and children ages 12 and older: 5 to 15 mg P.O. or 10 mg P.R. as a single dose

Children older than age 3: 5 to 10 mg or 0.3 mg/kg P.O. as a single dose

Children ages 2 and older: 5 to 10 mg P.R. as a single dose

Children younger than age 2: 5 mg P.R. as a single dose


• Hypersensitivity to drug
• Intestinal obstruction
• Gastroenteritis
• Appendicitis


Use cautiously in:
• hypersensitivity to tannic acid
• severe cardiovascular disease, anal or rectal fissures
• pregnant or breastfeeding patients.


• Make sure patient swallows tablets whole without chewing.
• Don't give tablets within 1 hour of dairy products or antacids (may break down enteric coating).
• Know that drug should be used only for short periods.

Adverse reactions

CNS: dizziness, syncope

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (with high doses), abdominal pain, burning sensation in rectum (with suppositories), laxative dependence, protein-losing enteropathy

Metabolic: hypokalemia, fluid and electrolyte imbalances, tetany, alkalosis

Musculoskeletal: muscle weakness (with excessive use)


Drug-drug.Antacids: gastric irritation, dyspepsia

Drug-diagnostic tests.Calcium, magnesium, potassium: decreased levels

Phosphate, sodium: increased levels

Drug-food.Dairy products: gastric irritation

Patient monitoring

• Assess stools for frequency and consistency.
• Monitor patient for electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

Patient teaching

• Instruct patient to swallow (not chew) enteric-coated tablets no sooner than 1 hour before or after ingesting antacids or dairy products. Tell him not to chew tablets.
• Advise patient not to use bisacodyl or other laxatives habitually because this may lead to laxative dependence.
• Suggest other ways to prevent constipation, such as by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to increase dietary bulk and by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.
• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, and foods mentioned above.


/bis·ac·o·dyl/ (bis-ak´ah-dil) (bis″ah-ko´dil) a contact laxative, used as the base or as a complex with tannic acid (b. tannex) .


(bĭs-ăk′ə-dĭl, bĭs′ə-kō′dĭl)
An over-the-counter laxative taken by mouth or per rectum to treat constipation.


a cathartic.
indications It is prescribed in the treatment of acute or chronic constipation or for emptying of the bowel before or after surgery or before diagnostic radiographic procedures.
contraindications Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, rectal fissures, ulcerated hemorrhoids, or known hypersensitivity to this drug prohibits its use.
adverse effects Among the more serious adverse reactions are colic, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.


A laxative used to manage constipation, especially in the elderly, as well as neurogenic bowel dysfunction.

Enteric nerve stimulation, increases fluid and salt secretion.


Dulcolax An agent used to manage constipation


A drug used in the treatment of constipation. A brand name is Dulco-Lax.

bisacodyl (bisak´ədil),

n brand names: Dulcolax, Fleet Bisacodyl, Bisacodyl Uniserts, Fleet Laxative;
drug class: laxative, stimulant;
ac-tion: acts directly on intestine by increasing motor activity;
uses: short-term treatment of constipation, and bowel or rectal preparation for surgery or examination.


a diphenylmethane stimulant cathartic.
References in periodicals archive ?
Evaluation of a new contact laxative, bisacodyl (Dulcolax), in obstetrics and gynaecology.
With a few tears, she calmly said that she had "absolutely not" been taking laxatives and added, "I don't even know what bisacodyl is.
All patients underwent bowel preparation with bisacodyl (Dulcolax) 10-mg tablets (2 tablets taken immediately after a meal on night before deworming), followed by praziquantel (25 mg/kg in 2 doses 4 h apart), and 30-g magnesium sulfate granules, dissolved in 1 cup of milk, given 1 h after the second dose of praziquantel.
The 2 most frequently abused laxatives are bisacodyl (the active ingredient in Ex-Lax[R], Correctol[R], and Dulcolax[R]) and anthraquinones such as senna (the active ingredient in Senokot[R], Castoria[R], and Black Draught[R]) (8,19-21).
Clinical studies and extensive experience show that laxatives, such as bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate, are not addictive and can be trusted as safe and effective treatments.
ColonLYTELY, Dendy, Brighton East, Victoria), diphenylmethanes (such as bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate), magnesium preparations (e.
His medication included baclofen, methylphenidate, and bisacodyl.
Among other prescription and OTC products, Braintree has developed two additional novel bowel preparations: NuLYTELY([R]) (PEG-3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium chloride for oral solution) and HalfLytely([R])and Bisacodyl Tablets Bowel Prep Kit (PEG-3350, sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium chloride for oral solution and bisacodyl delayed-release tablets).
The FDA approval is based on data from two pivotal Phase III non-inferiority studies in which PREPOPIK was compared to 2L PEG+E plus 2x 5-mg bisacodyl tablets.
Another study, which was presented as a poster at the meeting, compared a new, 32-tablet form of sodium phosphate preparation with a bowel preparation kit containing 2 L of PEG and bisacodyl tablets.
25) Some patients with intractable constipation had a minimal colonic motor response to intraluminal bisacodyl (25) or cholinergic stimulation with anticholinesterases, (22) compared with normal control subjects.
9% of respondents), oral sodium phosphate solution with or without bisacodyl (28.